The views and opinions expressed in our letters section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Hudson Valley One. You can submit a letter to the editor here.
Hudson Valley One welcomes letters from its readers. Letters should be fewer than 300 words and submitted by noon on Monday. Our policy is to print as many letters to the editor as possible. As with all print publications, available space is determined by ads sold. If there is insufficient space in a given issue, letters will be approved based on established content standards. Points of View will also run at our discretion.
Although Hudson Valley One does not specifically limit the number of letters a reader can submit per month, the publication of letters written by frequent correspondents may be delayed to make room for less-often-heard voices, but they will all appear on our website at hudsonvalleyone.com. All letters should be signed and include the author’s address and telephone number.
Cuttin’ Footloose at NPHS
Congratulations to the cast, crew and pit of Footloose at New Paltz High School (NPHS)! Year after year, I am blown away by the productions at NPHS — this year was no exception. I still have the music in my head! It was under the innovative direction by Nancy Owen. And, of course, Footloose wouldn’t be Footloose without incredible dancing, led by Kate Weston and Caleb Sheedy! A walk down memory lane in the 80’s — with fun costumes and catchy tunes. “Holding out For a Hero,” a performance led by Jenna Triguero as Ariel, belongs on Broadway. Lizzie Roff and Lindsey Clinton kept the energy high at the top of Act II. Ryan Hyland portrayed Ren with heart and humor and showed off his dancing skills. JP Fabella had me laughing every single time he was onstage as Willard — he managed to “do it,” he pulled off a great performance. Nicholas Kutzin’s struggle to run the town with power and never let tragedy strike again, while also trying to be a husband, father and pastor is clear from his heartfelt performance. Marla May Feeney and Julia Crofton have their own plights as mothers throughout the show — their performances are well beyond high schoolers. I wish I could see this show over and over!
Enter the Commission on Judicial Misconduct
Back in 2013, I filed a complaint with Central Hudson (“CenHud”) to remove the smart meter from my home and replace it with an analog meter for health reasons. They refused and lied stating there are no smart meters in NYS, claiming they have not been approved. When they wouldn’t do it, I took the smart meter off myself and installed my own purchased analog meter.
They then terminated my electricity for six years. I had filed a complaint with the NYS Public Service Commission (“PSC”), who declared in parallel deliberations that their determination that smart meters are biologically safe was supported by “more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific studies” and that they have done a comprehensive and extensive review of “the available studies.”
Freedom of Information responses from the PSC’s own Records Department revealed that no reviews were ever done by the PSC all the way back to 2005 when smart meters were first approved and that there is no identification of the alleged 100+ Peer-reviewed studies, because they don’t exist.
This evidence was brought before a judge in Supreme Court in Ulster County and five judges in Appellate Court in Albany County. Both courts disregarded compelling evidence of the PSC’s revealing FOIL responses and my multiple uncontested sworn affidavits. Neither CenHud, nor the PSC, could counter my well-documented and very detailed sworn affidavits without committing perjury, so they submitted no counter-affidavits, making my affidavits prima facie evidence. This compelling evidence unilaterally disregarded by both courts, in effect, violated my due process and equal protection under the law rights, causing me to file a motion for Reargument. Curiously, Ulster County Supreme Court dismissed my motion paperwork (without any review or research), only minutes after I filed it. This caused me to file a complaint with the Commission on Judicial Conduct (“CJC”), for violations of my constitutional rights, which judicial misconduct is, as case law affirms. Ulster County Supreme Court, soon after, surprisingly vacated their spurious decision and has been drafting a new decision since last February 7. Time will tell if the PSC’s feet will be held to the fire for not doing due diligence in protecting the New York public.
Meanwhile, all eight of my former neighbors still have analog meters ten years later. What was the point of CenHud and the PSC trying to force us to have a smart meter as the meter-reader had to walk down the street to read all my neighbor’s analog meters anyway. Instead of CenHud simply accommodating us with a $20 analog meter, which they had access to as their employees have privately told me, they kept us without electricity for six years while my lady was recovering from the stroke she had standing ten feet in front of the smart meter. Something is very wrong with the courts who can’t seem to see the injustice that CenHud and the PSC have perpetrated on me and my household and all New York residents as well.
County government should be participatory
Appreciation to Jim Gordon (“The county should absorb UCRRA” 3/29) for explaining the confusion around the connection between UCRRA and county government. I agree with him that the county should absorb UCRRA so that its operations are transparent and accountable to the voters. It’s absurd and an egregious waste of resources that the county legislature and UCRAA are working on the same critical problems without reference to each other. UCRRA should be a department of the county government, under the direct supervision of the county executive.
To take this issue just a little farther, I see the county level of government as increasingly important in all areas of critical infrastructure: food, health, education, transportation, housing, energy, waste/resource recovery and more. These are the areas that will determine how well we survive the coming collapse of international and national infrastructure, which have ballooned to completely unmanageable proportions, even without the climate and ecological catastrophes which loom and indeed have already started to impact us. Town governments are too small and fragmented to take on the job; state government, at least in the case of large and diverse states like New York, are too big. Never mind the ridiculous proposition that the federal government can manage local and regional development in the areas listed above.
County government is ideally situated to be participatory (guided, that is, by residents’ needs and wishes) and open to communication between elected officials and voters. Strengthening and supporting its initiatives and powers should be an increasing priority for the residents and voters of Ulster County.
You do know that it is extremely difficult to keep a secret in this town.
January 6 invasion
When I was 19, I spent six weeks at Quantico, VA, where the FBI and the Marine Corps train young men and women how to fight for America. Everyone is sworn to protect America from enemies both foreign and domestic. We were all about 30 minutes to the Capitol, and we were very ready, physically and mentally, to rush to protect the White House, the Lincoln Memorial or the Capitol. We would not have needed weapons to defeat the unarmed demonstrators. Additionally, as I witnesses the TV coverage of that sad day nearly 60 years later, I asked my TV screen where the fight trained and armed FBI agents, five minutes away on foot, were? And the DC police, also a tough bunch.
Armed, but outnumbered the Capitol police fought valiantly, but by restraining their gunfire, they lost control. It made for a great political embarrassment and some real fear by the people working there that day, but it was all so avoidable!
Team Pelosi held back Mayor Bowser’s offer to help. Maryland offered to send National guardsman. Those FBI agents never left the office TV sets. The Marine’s were never bused in from Quantico.
“Never let a crisis go to waste” Rahm Emmanuel taught us. Nancy Pelosi held tight the reins of power January 6 and embarrassed America. At least let the motley crew out of prison: they were sucker punched, too.
I live entirely in the moment; that’s why I never finish any of
An old poet of Woodstock
I’ve been reading my book, A Great and Terrible Love: A Visionary Journey from Woodstock’s Sorceries to God’s Paradise, and my heart aches for love of my friends and for the town I called dearest home for almost 20 years, 1978-1997. Did a lot of tripping here, and then became a disciple of Jesus to follow His path. My daughter Lisa (now Lysa) still lives in the area.
I’m 81 now, no longer the stronger man who once was able to stay weeks in the mountains and survive, it being hard to even walk to a local grocery store these days. My days left are few, I think. I care for a spiritual community here in Limassol, Cyprus (on the Mediterranean, between Europe and the Middle East), with my wife, an American-Cypriot (I have like dual citizenship).
Those who know Tolkien’s LOTR trilogy can appreciate his “shadow of Mordor” has a close equivalent in reality in these present days of 2023. What is the reality — and the source — of this terrible encroaching darkness taking over our world? I write about these things in the book — yes, I am a Christian, a Messianic Jew — that we may be able to understand the times we are in, and live through them, not only in this life, but in that which is to come — into the eternal realms.
My book in hardcopy is on Amazon (ISBN-13: 978-0983519492) (I receive no profit from it, and Amazon charges only what it costs to print it, 732 pages, $16.05). Digitally here are free copies from my Google Drive: bit.ly/3nQHBrB.
Humanity itself is under siege in these days. Where is the Poet who writes of the real abyss within the heart of humankind — the realm of horrors — as well the heights opened to us by Messiah Jesus, that we might escape the demonic and find the true light of Life?
For what it’s worth, this is what your poet has written. I write currently at apocalypsefield.substack.com, before my light here goes out.
(I grieve the loss of my friend, Frank Engle, who recently died here. I remember the days — 30 years ago? — when Frank and Scott St. John and I, had a snowball fight across Tinker Street, days of innocent fun and camaraderie – another era.)
Does your yodeling tapeworm have gingivitis?
Listening to someone spout the MAGAt Republikkkan world of make believe is amazingly funny. But it is also fuckin sad. The stupidity uttered by these jerks is scary. This MAGAt crowd is so divisive that they cannot even unite with all Americans when it comes to the defense of the USA.
MAGAt whack job Marjorie Taylor Greene falsely claims most everything. She lacks understanding of rational situations that support facts and not fabrications. How about you go on live TV (surrounded by lies like she does). Why does she favor noise and randomonium? Go back to your office and slither for your constituency. What a waste of space, money and time you are!!!!
If it weren’t for knee-jerk reactions, Trumpublicans and the QAnon conspiracy-laced GOP [bottomless evil and visible depravity] wouldn’t have reactions at all. I’d call it “power of positive stinking.”
Again, the MAGAt elected have often sent loud dog whistles, as well as anti-government violent rhetoric. They stoke right-wing extremism and seem to support non-American values. MTG and her followers, IMHO, are truly crazy.
But as we have previously learned, it takes little to trigger MAGAts — M&Ms, coffee makers, cartoon characters, Democrats, vaccinations, gas stoves, medical masks and various truck manufacturers! Bottom line — they’re afraid of authenticity. A Qcumber doing what Qcumbers do!?!
And the remoras (sometimes called suckerfish) accuse us of having “Trump derangement syndrome” — all the while they are kowtowing at his feet. What a puke. Believe me, if I never had to hear his name again, or listen to his spew, I’d be a happy person.
Now there are rumors of sicko rep. Empty Greene as possibly being batshit crazy and bat wielding Trump’s running mate, oh my God. In this case, “two heads are not better than one!”
Americans must learn to think more critically about threats. AND not necessarily foreign ones. Please, just stop the world and let me off if we can’t vote the evil Trumpublicans out of the government. Well, that is what you get when you become the party of hate, a major danger, not just to the Republican Party, but to all Americans.
We need better choices
Joe Biden may well put us over the top. From the vast oil fields of Alaska now open for business, to the tanks, planes and warships making their way to Ukraine and Taiwan, these assaults on reason threaten the very survival of our species.
We know that the world must drastically reduce its use of fossil fuel, but some greedy billionaires are willing to risk it all for a few more zeros after their net worth. If that weren’t enough, we are challenging the other two nuclear superpowers of the world to a game of chicken. It seems as if the empire has lost its head.
Must the people of our planet choose between burning up from climate change or freezing to death from a nuclear winter? “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.” Robert Frost seems to have foreseen our fate back in 1920.
So is it death by Joe Biden, or by that fascist crook who would rule us through ignorance, racism and greed? Isn’t a democracy about having better choices? But of course, ours is a plutocracy, the rule of the very rich. Elites don’t read poetry or think about their grandchildren. They accumulate money in some of the most despicable ways, by cheating workers, starving poor children and perpetuating our present system of mutual and guaranteed military annihilation. Let the ruling class fly away in their rocket ships, so that the rest of us don’t have to debase ourselves by wringing their necks.
Save our school
For the life of me, I can’t appreciate why the Onteora School Board wants to close the Woodstock Elementary School. I get that there’s dwindling enrollment in Phoenicia and that they want to build a new $10 million school in Boiceville. What I can’t understand is that they want to pay for it by busing six-year-old kids from Woodstock who would have to spend up to an hour each way, every day, traveling to and from school. Come on, folks, is this really how we want to treat our kids? If you need to save money, just combine Bennett and Phoenicia. It’s dollars versus sense.
Bravo to the cast and crew of Footloose
It’s my favorite time of year — musical season! So far, my favorite 2023 high school musical is by far New Paltz High School’s production of Footloose!! Every single person on that stage brought something special. Jenna Triguero as Ariel Moore had so many layers to her character. Lindsey Clinton sang her heart out as Rusty — I played Rusty back in the day, but nowhere near as well as this young lady! And the show wouldn’t be possible without Ren McCormack — Ryan Hyland was perfect for this role. So much talent all in one place, led by Nancy Owen and Dan Young!
Statewide transportation need
Rhode Island is a peculiar state: it is the size of one metropolitan area; it is called an island even though, by area, it is not; and it has a statewide transit agency. New York does not have any of these qualities, but I think it desperately needs to have one: a statewide transit agency. As someone who is pursuing a major in civil engineering with a focus on transportation system (long name I know) I have seen what works and what doesn’t in transportation planning. One thing that does work is consistency. This is consistency in headway (time between stops), governance and fleet size. I believe a single statewide transportation agency will reduce what we call in transportation engineering as time space compression in New York. Simply put, this is a measure of the relative time it takes to cover a certain area. This has been improved massively over the years with the MTA. Commuter lines reach as far north as Poughkeepsie! However, there is a gap at the Poughkeepsie MTA train station and the UCAT bus line. That gap being the two different agencies that handle it. In order to shrink the time-space compression of New York we must have all policy decisions for transportation made by a single entity. A bus from some house in Oneonta to the Rhinebeck train station to take a train to Time Square is much faster than what we have now.
Jameson de Beaumont
Human as keystone predators
RIP Bob Paine, a keystone among ecologists.
Written by Ed Yong in The Atlantic magazine’s science section:
The last paper from one of the world’s greatest ecologists challenges his peers to think about humanity’s influence on the world. Bob Paine labeled humans not keystone predators but “hyperkeystone” predators.
Ed Young interpreted Bob’s point, “We are the influencer of influencers, the keystone species that disproportionately affects other keystone species, the ur-stone that dictates the fate of every arch.”
Ed Yong goes on, “Paine coined the term as a play on ‘hyperparasites’ — organisms that parasitize other parasites. There are body-snatching wasps, for example, that lay eggs in the bodies of other insects, and other wasps that lay eggs in the eggs of those first ones — the latter are hyperparasites. So if hyperkeystone sounds grandiose, it’s not meant to; it’s almost the opposite.”
It’s the ending of this sentence that spins my imagination. Is Paine saying man taking out his own species is part of Nature, like the wasps laying their eggs in the eggs of other wasps?
Science and the scientific method were launched by Francis Bacon in the sixteen hundreds. This revolution exerted powerful influences on the intellectual development of the modern world. Unfortunately, what humans lost with the dominations of science as the new religion is the value of imagination, emotional intelligence, psychological insight, humanity, story, myth and ages of collective wisdom. Is this what led us to the pathway of becoming hyperkeystone predators? Today humans rely on science to fix anything and everything. Humans stopped believing they are animals, leaving them with no predators except themselves and viruses. The proof is our TVs are crammed packed with murders, real and acted. The foundations of civilization are now controlled by human keystone predators who’ve become dictators and small numbers with wealth who own the resources to feed all earth’s living creatures.
Dance! Dance! Dance!
I had the joy of seeing Footloose at New Paltz High School, twice last weekend! So much talent on that stage! I was mesmerized by the dancing! Nathaniel Johnson, Ben Gorney, Audrey Shannon and Nafi Diedhoiu truly stood out as dancers. I could not take my eyes off of them, not only are they talented, but they exude energy on that stage. Those voices! I remember hearing/seeing Jenna Triguero perform a duet in last year’s The Theory of Relativity, but nothing could have prepared me for the talent, heart and soul on that stage as she belted “Holding Out for a Hero” and sang the romantic “Almost Paradise” and so much more. Ryan Hyland was just so fun to watch as Ren McCormack, a true triple threat. Lindsey Clinton’s performance of “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” was out of this world.
These kids have lost so much over the past few years, due to the pandemic — thank you to Nancy Owen and her team for helping these students to shine their light and express themselves.
Our NYS Senator understands
Our NYS Senator understands local government! Thank you Senator Michelle Hinchey for all your efforts and, in particular, supporting New Paltz in the Senate’s one-house budget. Our fingers are crossed the State’s final budget gets adopted shortly with both of these:
• The budget includes “payment to the Village of New Paltz for expenses related to police and fire services associated with institutions of higher education… $300,000.”
• The Senator is also leading the charge to help local governments with urgently-needed funding to repair water and sewer infrastructure and plan for long-term modernizations. Her proposal will create the $100M Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program (SWAP). An annual funding stream, similar to the successful Consolidated Local State and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), SWAP could be used by all cities and villages to address both their water and sewer infrastructure preventive maintenance costs, as well as assist in the undertaking of capital projects. Like the CHIPS’ apportionment process using street miles, every municipality would receive an allocation based on the amount of pipes owned and maintained by the municipality with SWAP.
Thanks again Senator for looking out for us.
Mayor Tim Rogers
Neil’s very short-lived victory
Finally, after all these years, Neil Jarmel has a legitimate gripe against Fox News for improper behavior. Behavior, however, that he witnesses on a daily basis, on his bottom-o- the-barrel “news” ratings sources at CNN, MSNBC, et al.
In his letter of March 29, 2023 entitled “A/K/A the flaming pants award,” Neil speaks of Fox News as if this rare and recent behavior is standard operational procedure at Fox News. If this was so, Fox News would be at the bottom of the ratings heap and Neil’s fake journalists would be ruling the roost at the top. Mysteriously though, in all his letters, Neil has yet to explain the significant disparity in the ratings between Fox News at the top and his “news” comedians/comediennes comfortably sitting in the basement.
Rather than look at all news sources, including Fox News, Neil would rather stick with his White House puppets in the liberal media and their one-sided propaganda. If anyone wants to know what’s really going on at our southern border with record numbers of illegals and videos of how and where they’re sneaking in, you can only see it on Fox News. Sure, Neil’s crews report on it but its hit-and-run “reporting” which merely scratches the surface. The same goes for the reports and statistics on the continued smuggling of fentanyl and the resultant deaths of our youth. And, how much detail, facts and truth is Neil getting on who’s been illegally crossing our border ever since his hero, Joe Biden, took office, specifically the roughly 1,000,000 gotaways? Certainly, Neil must know that this group will not contain any future upstanding U.S citizens. It’s already known, through logical deduction, that some of them are terrorists, terrorists who will patiently and smartly build cells over time until they are confident that they can effectively pull off more 911’s, or worse.
All of the above doesn’t faze Neil, in the least, because his one-and-only myopic agenda is nailing Trump and Fox News.
John N. Butz
You should have been there on Millrock Road
One recent March afternoon, returning from a neighborhood walk, I spotted the Fed Ex truck parked parallel to a car across the street from my house. After making a delivery, his truck was headed towards Main Street.
At the head of the street, a truck delivering bottled water, was parked parallel to a parked car. The driver dashed out to deliver heavy water bottles.
A Honda CRV came up the street, heading for Main Street. The driver tried to pass the Fed Ex truck, but with cars on both sides of the street, but “no go,” apparently gauging the space too tight to make it through.
Two large trucks, one SUV — a typical Millrock Road standoff! Who had the right of way? I watched, hoping that the school bus was late to drop off the two young children living two houses away.
Taking charge, the Fed Ex driver slowly backed up his 20-foot truck to pull beside the fire hydrant. The bottled water truck driver drove towards the open space towards the CRV doing the same.
The car gave way for the truck, then sped by the Fed Ex truck without as much as a “thank you” to the driver.
I clapped and sang out, “Great job” to the Fed Ex driver. Smiling, he said, “I really appreciate that. Getting up and down these streets are difficult, especially for deliveries.”
So much for village safety. So much for pedestrian safety.
Is this an unusual occurrence? No. Ask a delivery driver what his/her experience is of driving down the streets in our village to learn about the problems with narrow streets, clogged with parked cars.
Is New Paltz the only village/town with this problem? Can’t we enact an alternate side of the street parking policy? Hmmmmm.
Resist the injustice of racism wherever it appears in our society
Black Lives Matter is a gateway to what white Americans don’t know. We have been living with and tacitly condoning the subjugation of African Americans for our whole lives. It is part of our landscape and the air we breathe. We have assumed white privilege without being able to even define the term. And our ancestors were able to live with slavery, profiting hugely from the practice while remaining willfully ignorant of its human costs.
But there is a power that eventually comes from awareness. Our nation fought the most costly war in US history to end the scourge of human bondage. And the truth about racism will set us free again, for we are a nation that prizes justice, even though our institutions, corporations and media often lag far behind.
Our moral awakening may even come to include the plight of five-million Palestinians living under brutal Israeli occupation. Our country, so steeped in stories of freedom for all, pours billions of dollars into this apartheid state, our colony in the Middle East. If the US didn’t support Israel at the UN, then what country would?
On April 15, Jewish Voice for Peace-HV, Middle East Crisis Response, Peace and Planet News, NYC Veterans For Peace, and Women in Black-New Paltz will hold a rally and walk for Palestinian rights, starting at 1 p.m. at the traffic light in Rhinebeck. Come join us in resisting the injustice of racism wherever it appears in our society.